Homo sapiens

Water has always been very important to mankind. The first settlements are located by rivers and lakes and human development is strongly associated with the services that running water provides us. Waterways have always been a life-giving vein in the landscape but today many of us have lost the contact with aquatic environments. In today´s modern society the connection between waterways and humans are more diffuse and no longer a natural part of our everyday life. Nevertheless, we are still dependent on the ecosystem services that water gives us, like drinking water, food, energy, transport, recreation, etc. LIFE CONNECTS will contribute to improve aquatic environemnts and the sustainable use of are waters for the benefit of generations today and in the future.

Atlantic salmon

Salmo salar

The Atlantic salmon lives its life in both the sea and in rivers. The Young are born in the rivers and usually spend their first years there and then migrate to the sea to grow up to adults. After a few years in the sea they migrate back to spawn in the river. Often in the same river as the was born. Therefore, the Atlantic salmon is dependent on free flowing rivers without obstacles hindering their migration to and from the sea. LIFE CONNECTS will remove obstacles to improve the migration of the Atlantic salmon and recreate spawning grounds in the project rivers. Thus, increase the Atlantic salmon population and genetic variation of the species. In Rönne å, Mörrumsån and Emån migration patterns of Atlantic salmon will be monitored before and after measures.

Brown trout

Salmo trutta

The Brown trout spawns in gravel in fast flowing riverstretches. Three different types of trout are usually distinguisched based on differences in their way of life. The sea trout migrates to the sea as young and migrates back to the same river as adult to spawn. The lake trout live their life in freshwater and migrate from the river where they are born to the lake and back for spawning as adults. Brook trout is a smaller trout that live its entire life in streams where they migrate from spawning grounds to feeding grounds whithin the same riversystem. All three types are depending on free flowing rivers without barriers hindering their migrantion. LIFE CONNECTS will improve the migration of Brown trout in the project rivers and thus increase the population and genetic variation of the species.

European eel

Anguilla anguilla

The European eel live their life in both rivers and the sea. They spawn in the Sargasso Sea, east of North America. The larvae lives in the ocean for up to three years before they migrate up in the rivers of the European coast as glass eels. When they have grown up at the age of 12-18 years in the rivers, they migrate back to the Sargasso Sea to spawn. Eels can become very old and one trapped in a well is believedto be 150 years old. The eel is threatened and without conservation measures the survival of the species is uncertain. Like salmon and trout the eel are dependent on free flowing rivers without barriers hindering their migration. LIFE CONNECTS will contribute to increase the population and hopefully the survivaval of the species.

European catfish

Silurus glanis

The European catfish is a so-called postglacial relic and it migrated into the Baltic sea during the Ancylos period 9000 to 7200 years ago. The species has declined over the last hudred years and Sweden is the only nordic country that still has an established population. In Sweden, the species lives on the border of its natural range. Like many other fish species it needs to be able to migrate within river systems to seek food, spawn and survive as a species. LIFE CONNECTS will improve migration and spawning for the European catfish and increase the population especially in Emån.

European river lamprey

Lampetra fluviatilis

The European river lamprey live most of their lives as larvae, where they sit at the riverbottom and filter organisms. After 2-3 years, the completely blind larvae is transformed into its adult stage. Some live their adult lifestage in marine environment as parasites on other fishes while most of the freshwater living lampreys do not eat at all after the larvae stage. All types of European river lamprey spawn in rivers and are dependent on free flowing rivers for their migration between the river and the sea or within the river system. The European river lamprey are today threatened and in Sweden it has its own program of measures. LIFE CONNECTS will help increase the European river lamprey population and improve the survival of the species.

Freshwater pearl mussel

Margaritifera margaritifera

The Freshwater pearl mussel is one of the oldest known animal species in the Swidish fauna. The oldest documentation is about 270 years old. The mussel thrives best in clean unaffected streams with the presence of trout, salmon or other host fishes as their larval stage is dependent on a host fish to grow. The mussel is severly threatened and have gone extinct in some rives in Sweden. LIFE CONNECTS will increase the number of host fishes in the project rivers and improve the conservation status of the species in southern Sweden.

Thick-shelled river mussel

Unio crassus

The Thick-shelled river mussel is one of the larger mussels in Sweden. It lives in freshwaters and mainly in streams with flowing water. It lives buried in the sediment and filters the water on edible particles. The mussels lifecycle in complicated and involves a parasitic stage where the larvae feeds on the gills of a host fish. What fishes that are host fish for the mussel is not entirely known. Two important species are the Eurasian minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus) and European bullhead (Cottus gobio). The Thick-shelled river mussel is severely threatened and have gone extinct in some river in Sweden. LIFE CONNECTS will increase the populations of host fishes in the project rivers and thus the conservation status of the Thick-shelled river mussel in southern Sweden.

Eurasian otter

Lutra lutra

The Eurasian otter is a semiaquatic mammal which are adapted for a life in water with swimmin-skinned paws and nostrils and ear openings that can be closed during diving. It seeks its food in and near rivers and its favorite food is fish. The species decreased drastically after the 1950s and disappeared from many rivers in Sweden. It has now increased in number and can be found in rivers where it has not been seen for several decades. LIFE CONNECTS will increase the amount of fish in the project rivers and thus improve the conservation status of the Eurasian otter.

This post is also available in: Svenska (Swedish)